Board of Trustees


Dan Guss


Dan is a semi-retired Water and Wastewater Engineer. He has spent his entire life studying, designing and installing water treatment systems. Dan has been married to his wife Gail Addison Guss for 49 years and they have three grown children. Having grown up in the State College area, Dan graduated from State College High, and is an engineering graduate of Penn State, and holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Dan is proud to be the son of a Penn State Extension Veterinarian and grandson of a Central PA Dairy farmer. Dan has a passion for clean water and believes that the vital foundation of clean water and a clean environment is stewardship of the land.

Alan Schaffranek head shot.jpg

Alan Schaffranek

Vice President

Alan Schaffranek became the director of alumni relations at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences in January 2019 and oversees the coordination of events, programs, and initiatives that connect more than 31,000 alumni to faculty and staff.

After receiving his Event Leadership Executive Certification from Temple University, Alan harnessed his passion for special events and entrepreneurial spirit into his own event coordination business for over 10 years. 

The worlds of event management and alumni relations collided when his career led him to the position of executive director of the C. Barton McCann School of Art in Petersburg, Pennsylvania. While there, he implemented a process that increased overall giving by 300 percent while overseeing approximately 30 special events a year. 


Jennifer Shuey


Jennifer's conservation experience comes from serving as the Executive Director of ClearWater Conservancy of Central Pennsylvania for nearly fifteen years.  She also currently serves on the Board of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and is a Trustee of The Hamer Foundation. She is also a member of the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania, which was formed in 2005 to promote the preservation and appreciation of farmland through the visual arts. A portion of the proceeds from any FPA group exhibition and sale supports Centre County Farmland Trust. As an artist, Jennifer specializes in pastel landscapes.  Jennifer's day job is Director of Development for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  Her degree is in Landscape Architecture from Penn State.


Linda Friend


Linda is recently retired after over 35 years at Penn State. She has been a resident of Penns Valley for over 40 years. Linda is also a shift leader and foster for PAWS and an AAUW board member. She has direct farming experience with sheep and beef cattle and is committed to conservation best practices and to farmland preservation.

Derek Canova


Derek is a Realtor and Past President (2012) of the Centre County Association of Realtors.  He grew up in Penns Valley and has strong affinity for the area of Centre County and its agricultural heritage.

Larry Hutchinson


Larry is a retired professor of Veterinary Science at Penn State University.  Penn State and Cornell provided the educational background for a career as a practicing large animal veterinarian and later as an extension educator at PSU.  He has a long-standing interest and concern about agriculture and the environment.  Larry loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, canoeing and horseback riding.


Ann Donovan


Ann is a native of Western Pennsylvania, where both her maternal and paternal grandparents lived on farms. She holds a BA from Chatham University and a M.Ed. from Clarion University. She served as Watershed Specialist/Education Coordinator for the Centre County Conservation District for 17 years, retiring in 2017. At the District she also acted as a support person for nonprofit environmental organizations and she oversaw various restoration projects. She has taught in schools in the South Pacific, Western  Pennsylvania, and State College and she has been a guest lecturer at Penn State University. She has lived in State College since 1976 where she raised a daughter and two sons.

Martha Grout Taylor headshot.jpg

Martha Grout Taylor

Trustee and Farmland Preservation Artists' Liaison

Martha is a member of the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania, a group that partners with the Centre County Farmland Trust, and is a liaison between the two organizations.  She grew up in the State College area and is a graduate of State College High and Penn State, with a B.S. in Biology.  She is retired from laboratory work in toxicology.  Martha’s father was a Penn State Extension Agricultural Engineer, and both sets of grandparents were farmers.  She values both the aesthetic and the economic value of farmland to our community.

Bob Potter photo square headshot.jpg

Bob Potter


Bob Potter is a 50-year resident of Centre County and a 40-year resident of Boalsburg. Following a career in public relations, he served as Executive Director of the Centre County Community Foundation.  Along the way Bob has been involved in many community organizations, including serving as president of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, chair of the Centre County United Way campaign, and President of the Boalsburg Village Conservancy.  For  his community service Bob was named PSU Renaissance Person for 2005.


Dr. Mary Kennett


Dr. Mary Kennett has always been interested in farmland preservation. Her family owned a small farm in Washington state when she was a child. The farm was near a lake so developers were always interested in buying it and building houses. Instead, her parents put the land into an open space program, worked on timber stand improvement, and had cattle, horses, chickens, etc.


She learned to love the land, so is very happy to now have a small farm near Bellefonte. She and her family have worked to plant native trees and shrubs for habitat for wildlife, but also raise a few chickens and do some gardening.

Dr. Kennett is a native of eastern Washington state. She attended veterinary college at Washington State University. After attaining her DVM she joined a mixed practice in Walla Walla Washington. While she was in practice she worked part time to earn a master’s degree in Ethology from Walla Walla College, where her thesis examined evolution and altruism in Glaucous-winged gulls.  

Later she taught biology, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and zoology at Columbia Basin College and Walla Walla Community College. As her research interests grew, she moved to the Midwest and embarked on a PhD program at the University of Missouri, Columbia in mucosal immunology.  Simultaneously she completed a residency in laboratory animal medicine. 

After finishing her PhD and becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, she joined the faculty at the University of Missouri Columbia and became the Assistant Director and later Director of the Office of Laboratory Animal Medicine.  


In 2001 she accepted a position as director of the Penn State Animal Resource Program and Associate Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Her research was primarily in the area of laboratory animal pathology and she has over 60 published papers.  

She was promoted to full professor in 2007, and served as interim department head for the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences from 2011 to 2014. She retired in 2019 as Professor Emerita, and enjoys her farm near Bellefonte.   


Nancy VanLandingham


Nancy VanLandingham moved to Centre County in 1977 to attend grad school at Penn State and earned her Master’s and most of her PhD (All But Dissertation) in Geography. She wrote her thesis on property rights and land use law and worked in private consulting for counties and municipalities in the field of economic development. 


She and her husband bought an 1840s farmhouse with 10 acres of land in Halfmoon Township and raised our children Sarah and David there. In 1998, she began helping a friend in her real estate business and that has developed into a 23-year career (so far!) at RE/MAX Centre Realty. 

Nancy served on the Halfmoon Township Planning Commission for six years and is very interested in the development pressures rural communities face. Boards and municipalities can’t halt development if the market forces are there, but they can channel and control it for the greater public good. 


Two of the best things about Centre County are the vibrancy of a college town and the authenticity and beauty of the surrounding rural landscape. Nancy believes in doing what we can to preserve and enhance both.


Catherine F. Smith


Catherine F. Smith lives near Spring Mills on property surveyed by William Maclay

for the Penn family in 1766, settled in 1775, and farmed for more than two

centuries. She and John Smith manage their 68-acre farm, called ChicoryLane

( for ecology, diversity, habitat protection,

waterway protection, and aesthetic appreciation as guided by goals set in a

conservation easement held ClearWater Conservancy. 

Catherine is a retired Professor Emerita of English in Professional Communication, University of North Carolina-East Carolina. She formerly taught on the English faculties of Bucknell and Syracuse Universities. She serves on the Pennsylvania Conservation Association (PVCA) board of directors and on the steering committee of the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards (PAFS) at the Center for Private Forests-Penn State. 

Catherine’s particular

interests are the interactions among land, land use, architecture, and history.

Lisa Duchene

Communications and Events Consultant, contracted

Lisa owns Polished Oak Communications in central Pa. She is a writer with much experience covering topics in science, natural resource management and the food business. Through Polished Oak, Lisa provides communications services including strategy, content development, event planning, media relations, and social media services. She is an essayist & blogger in love with Pennsylvania's countryside — and especially smitten with barns.



Our Partners


The Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania

The Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania formed in late 2005 to promote the preservation and appreciation of farmland through the visual arts. 

The Farmland Preservation Artists regularly participate in gallery shows. To find out where you can view and purchase their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

The Farmland Preservation Artists maintain a permanent gallery at The Field Restaurant in State College, PA.

Appalachian Food Works

As Central Pennsylvania's food hub, AFW aggregates and distributes fresh, locally raised and grown food to the people who live closest to it. ​


Happy Valley Adventure Bureau

The bureau's mission is to develop, promote, and engage in travel related activities and coordinate visitor services designed to enhance the economic activity and quality of life within Centre County, Pennsylvania. The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Centre County, Pennsylvania. 

On Facebook: @HappyValleyAdventureBureau

On Instagram: @happyvalleypa

Happy Valley Agventures

Happy Valley Agventures is a joint effort by the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County and the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau designed to invite visitors from around the county and across the region to come and share in this rich history and enjoy what we grow, what we craft and what we create. A chance to meet our people, get to know our heritage, hear our stories and return to the roots of our region.




Tassl provides engagement management technology for networks. CCFT used the tassl mobile app to provide Farm Routes map-guide information to people on their mobile devices.